How to Prune Trees and Shrubs | NatureHills.com

  1. Yes, You Can Grow Fruit Trees in a Small Yard

    Grow Apples on an espalier trellis for easier harvest

    In today’s health conscious and Instagram-ready world, the desire to grow fresh fruit and vegetables has never been greater. We’ve seen the beautiful photos of the carefully grown crops after harvest, and we want that same benefit for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.

    Using Size Control For More Manageable Fruit Trees

    Even if you select semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties, you still need to understand that pruning is one the most important aspects of growing a fruit tree.

    Commercial growers use aggressive pruning techniques to control the size of a fruit tree, which results in more trees planted per acre (and a quicker return on their investment!) Keeping the trees at lower heights also makes it safer for workers and

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  2. Get More Fruit in Small Yards With High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, tells us about a tried and true technique that is perfect for the backyard gardener.

    Called "High Density Planting", or "Backyard Orchard Culture", watch as Ed explains the concept and the benefits of planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole. Benefits include easier cross-pollination and extending the season of ripe fruit.

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 1-888-864-7663

    Learn how to keep your High Density Plantings pruned for size control

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  3. How To Prune Crape Myrtles Without Murdering Them

    How NOT to prune your Crape Myrtle

    Ouch! This picture shows a horrible "Crape Murder."

    Please, don't use heading or topping cuts to pollard Crape Myrtles, it's just won't give you that natural look you want. You'll also avoid creating those knobby knuckles, which sadly wreck the appearance of that beautiful Crape Myrtle bark.

    Instead, let's watch Ed Laivo, one of Nature Hills horticulturalists, as he gives valuable information on how to correctly prune this beautiful tree.

    The Right Way to Prune a Crape Myrtle

    The goal is to get air circulation and sunlight into the canopy of the tree. You also want to allow your Crape Myrtle to showcase the beautiful bark as part of its character.

    In the video, you'll learn when to prune Crape Myrtles, and get a step-by-step approach to determine your pruning plan. Hint, start

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  4. Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    People are on the hunt for native plants that produce healthy berries. Today’s homeowner wants to take advantage of plants that provide edible – and ornamental – benefits.

    Elderberry is also commonly known as “Sambucus” and you can find extracts and a dried version in pill form at any health food store. Historically, cooked Elderberry Syrup has been used as chest remedies to treat colds and flu.

    Even though it’s touted for both immune support and to reduce the severity of colds, you may have heard that Elderberries are poisonous.

    Here’s why. The leaves, stems and roots of the plants as well as the seeds in the berries have chemicals which metabolize into cyanide. Eating the raw seeds can cause a build-up of cyanide in the body and make you ill.

    Many edible plants

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  5. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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  6. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  7. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  8. Boxwood Tips & Tricks for a Beloved Classic!

    We would be remiss if we did not mention that Boxwood have been used as trimmed hedges as far back as 4,000 BC, in the gardens of Roman villas.  Boxwood have been used in Italy, France, Germany and England - all throughout Europe because it makes incredible clipped hedges. 

    Boxwood remain wildly popular today. 

    Their popularity comes from the innate ability to train this plant into many different forms.  They were used to create English knot gardens, topiaries, creating pieces of sculpture in the landscape.  Boxwood can be easily sheared in to tight forms.  The small, rounded leaves are evergreen and remain on the plant year round. 

    How to Use Boxwood in the Landscape

    Not only do Boxwood make classic low hedges-- governing direction and movement through the landscape with the structure they bring – they do so year round because they rem

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  9. Summer Pruning Tips for 3 Fruit Trees Planted in 1 Hole, or High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, checks the growth on his latest high density planting of Burgundy Plum, Santa Rosa Plum and Emerald Butte Plum. During this video, you'll learn how how he makes summer pruning decisions to keep his fruit trees around 6 feet tall.

    Growing 3 Trees in 1 Hole Delivers Great Fruit Set in a Small Space

    Successfully planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole has a lot of benefits for your backyard orchard, including cross-pollination and enjoying an extended season of fruit. Keeping your high density plantings at a small size makes for easy homegrown fruit picking.

    Summer is the best time to prune your high density planting. Ed says "The goal is to get good sunlight in the center of the three tree canopy. Pruning the aggressive spring flush of growth keeps your fruit trees to a manageable size."

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 888-864-7663

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  10. Boxwood Offer Beauty, Versatility in Any Landscape

     

    Boxwood - sometimes known as Box - has been around for a long time. They were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1600s. There are almost 100 different species and almost 400 different selections that have been made over the years, and the popularity of Boxwood continues today.

    Boxwood (Buxus) is a broadleaved evergreen. The small, round green leaves remain on the plant year round.  Different Boxwood species can be grown from zones 4 to 9, so when selecting Boxwood for your home, be sure to select the type that will grow where you live.

    This fine textured, green-leaved plant is equally attractive year round as it really does not change throughout the seasons.  For that reason, they have remained extremely popular in the landscape.  They are easy to maintain and can be mai

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